The many meanings of Schrödinger's cat

9 philosophers and scientists interpret quantum theory's famous thought experiment

Nine leading thinkers interpret the meaning of Schrödinger’s famous thought experiment. Amanda GefterSheldon GoldsteinJenann IsmaelChiara MarlettoTim MaudlinAlyssa NeyTim PalmerCarlo RovelliLev Vaidman


Contemporary versions of Erwin Schrödinger’s famous cat thought experiment often prefer to use sleeping gas instead of cyanide. But for a cat in a box to be both asleep and awake - as opposed to the original cat which was both dead and alive - is, if decidedly less cruel, just as strange.

Writing to Einstein in 1935, Schrödinger’s imaginary experimental set-up was

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Gabriel Vacariu 1 30 November 2022

On this topic, see Gabriel Vacariu article in Synthese (December 2005, USA), my 5 books 2008-2014 (all English, FREE), and my book from Springer (2016 Germany) “Illusions of human thinking” + PhD thesis 2007 (Philosophy webpage, UNSW, Australia) at my webpage With my EDWs perspective, I have changed completely the framework of thinking for ALL scientists (physics, cognitive science) and philosophers...
2020 Gabriel Vacariu Part 1 The world versus epistemologically different worlds (EDWs) About Nothing/Big Bang a FREE article here Gabriel Vacariu (0November 2022 to 2014) The UNBELIEVABLE SIMILARITIES between the ideas of some people (2011-2021) and my ideas (2002-2008) in physics (quantum mechanics, cosmology), cognitive neuroscience, philosophy of mind, and philosophy (this manuscript would produce a REVOLUTION in right international academic environment!)

Arten 7 April 2022

Who is the observer? Is it the scientist who opens the box? I say it is the Geiger counter.

It cannot be the instrument for reasons explained by Bernardo Kastrup.

Steve Maricic 25 February 2022

I'm not a physicist, so I probably have this completely wrong.

Who is the observer? Is it the scientist who opens the box? I say it is the Geiger counter.

Schrödinger wrote: "in a Geiger counter there is a tiny bit of radioactive substance, so small, that perhaps in the course of the hour one of the atoms decays, but also, with equal probability, perhaps none; if it happens, the counter tube discharges."

The Geiger counter patiently watches (observes) the radioactive substance. If one atom decays, the Geiger counter observes that decay and responds to it automatically. The GC "discharges". The discharge hits a relay, which triggers a hammer, which breaks the vial. Up until that time, the cat is alive. After it, the cat dies.

If no atom decays within the allotted hour, the cat lives.

The cat is never both alive and dead.